If Friday’s fifth-place game was a measuring stick of each team’s mental toughness, Michigan has a clear picture of how far it has to go.
“We were dominated,” Phil Martelli said after the loss. “We were dominated physically. We were dominated psychologically, we were dominated emotionally.”
The Wolverines came out flat and never responded. Texas Tech played better defense, made more shots, and was the more physical team from the opening tip. The Wolverines never figured out how to catch up with the tenor of the game. Their head coach, who was technically observing the game, was tossed at the end of the first half after a string of unusual whistles.
Make no mistake, there was plenty working against Michigan. The Wolverines played at 8:45 p.m. on Thanksgiving, their opponents played at noon. There were bad calls, tough breaks, and plenty to be frustrated about. But at the end of the day, Michigan was outplayed, outexecuted, and flat-out beat by a better team on the night.
It’s a long flight home, and a long week of practice before a trip to Eugene, but it is time to figure out how to fix some of the weaknesses that have bubbled in the Bahamas this week.